Pic courtesy: www.visitlouth.ie

Letter to the Editor: Monasterboice High Cross status

Dear sir - An eminent archaeologist has described High Crosses as “Ireland’s greatest contribution to European sculpture”, and the website www.discoverboynevalley.ie, referring to Muiredach’s Cross, Monasterboice describes it as “the finest High Cross in Ireland.

“Clearly, Monasterboice with its three high crosses (and round tower) is one of Ireland’s most famous heritage sites and it could be said that Muiredach’s Cross is the best example of a Celtic Cross ... in the world .... and demonstrates the “outstanding universal value” which UNESCO World Heritage Sites must satisfy. The Government must apply by 30th June to include Ireland’s finest high crosses.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in 2010, Monasterboice was included on Ireland’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with other early monastic sites, including Kells. Today in 2021, the rationale is even more compelling as such designation would be completely consistent with the objectives of the recently launched Failte Ireland Ancient Destination Experience Plan for Louth and Meath within Ireland’s Ancient East.

However, with the 30th June deadline looming, there is no evidence to suggest that the Government is planning to pursue this, notwithstanding that Monasterboice was included on the last tentative list drawn up in 2010.

We have contacted Failte Ireland, Boyne Valley Tourism and Louth Co Council (as well as local organisations in Drogheda involved in tourism/visitor growth and development) and hope their collective efforts will ensure that Monasterboice is submitted for the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation it deserves, thus further enhancing the 'Ancient' credentials of the Louth/Meath/Boyne Valley Region. All concerned groups and individuals should email the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie or Minister of State peter.burke@oireachtas.ie or contact their offices at the Dail, telephone 01-618 3000 by this Wednesday, 30th June at the latest.


Brian Hanratty,

'The Battle for the Boyne' group.